First Dance Songs: 10 Picks for the at-heart Emo Kid

emo first dance songs

Sunday, February 23rd, 2020



First dances can be very meaningful and fun and beautiful – but they can also be a spectacular show. And no matter which first dance song you choose, there are a lot of variables that change how the dance is photographed. But maybe if you want to do something a little different, a little unique, it can be hard to find ideas for songs that aren’t the top 40 of the current year or a song that has meaning to you.

I tapped into my emo music archives, and pulled together a list of 3 slow and 7 fast songs that might just meet the mark for something a little different.

If you want a sweet song, or already have one picked out, there’s a few tips I can give you to make sure the dance itself looks and feels energetic:

1. Waltz, not Prom

When it comes to your form for the first dance, always stand waltz-style versus prom. Having a more open form will make for more energetic images, and it’s far more flattering to your body than the arms straight around the neck. Here’s an awesome demo that shows you how to structure your form!

2. Don’t be afraid to laugh, sing, talk, or just embrace.

Don’t be afraid to sing along to each other, to talk, to truly enjoy this moment. Even having a normal conversation will bring meaning to this time. Even choosing to remain silent and just breathe will be great. Ultimately, do what feels best for you.

3. Be yourselves and have fun

I’ve seen first dances that slowly swayed in the same spot for 4 minutes, and I’ve seen dances that were choreographed down to the minute. I’ve seen dances that started slow and were interrupted by a fun dance, I’ve seen ones that turned into dance-offs. Whatever it is you choose to do, look at it as less of a performance for your guests, and more of a few minutes to just be with your person and do what you’d do in your kitchen.

Emo first dance songs for a slowly choreographed first dance:

Hold On (The Break) // Walk off the Earth

I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) // Sleeping at Last

Like Real People Do // Hozier

Emo first dance songs for a fast/intense choreographed dance:

Wildfire // Seafret

Give Me Love // Ed Sheeran

Brand New // Ben Rector

Your Guardian Angel // Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down (Fall Out Boy) // Vitamin String Quartet

You Had Me at Hello // A Day to Remember

This is Gospel (Piano Version) // Panic! at the Disco

What was your first dance song, or what are you considering choosing? Are there classic emo first dance songs that I missed from this list? Comment below!


Hey! I'm Makayla, a wedding photojournalist based in Duluth, MN and Saint Paul, MN. 

I believe that stories are best told untouched, undirected, and with intentionality and meaning.

This blog is a space to share advice for couples about weddings, advice for photographers about witnessing events with intention, and steps to create decisions based on your values and what matters most to you.

Grab your favorite beverage, pull up a chair, and let's get to know each other.


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